70130 Travel Guide
Hotel Renovations / W Hotels / Starwood Hotels / New Orleans Hotels / Hotel Bars / Hotel Restaurants / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Last summer, we reported on on the W New Orleans - French Quarter's $9 million renovations, which are part of W's larger plan to update 11 of their North American properties, including outposts in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
As the brand continues to expand internationally (new W's are popping up in Bangkok, Milan, Singapore, and Verbier), the idea seems to be to get back to what made the brand so innovative and aspirational in the first place, playing on its strengths of incorporating local elements, like food and music, into the experience. (We've also heard they hope to reinvigorate their in-house spa concept, as well, which could definitely use it.)
So if going local is the goal, then the NOLA property ought to fit right in. Set in the French Quarter (there's also another W near the Warehouse District), the property's 97 rooms were redesigned by NYC-based Nemaworkshop to reflect two iconic aspects of the city: jazz and voodoo.
Read on to take a look at some of the rooms!
Hotel Openings / Hotel Rebrandings / New Orleans Hotels / Four Points by Sheraton Hotels / Free WiFi / → All Tags
Although we are a little tardy for the party, we had to let you all know that the Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter opened its doors in June on the very party-friendly Bourbon Street.
The space formerly called the Inn on Bourbon was previously owned by Ramada. Now rebranded as The Four Points, the hotel has 186 rooms, a swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness center, copy/fax center, and free WiFi. Of course, location means everything in New Orleans, and the hotel is in the middle of the action. It’s walking distance to several of the French Quarter’s hot spots, or should we say cool spots, like the House of Blues, the Saenger Theater, Armstrong Park and the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Harrah’s Casino is only a mile away.
W Hotels / Hotel Uniforms / Designer Hotel Uniforms / Jay Godfrey / New Orleans Hotels / Hotel Renovations / → All Tags
Ed. Note: We had to pull the images of the new uniforms per Starwood's request. When we get an approved photo we'll put it back up here!
It turns out that the hotel’s uniforms will also get a little updating from Jay Godfrey who has transformed the regular hotel uniforms into stylish, sleek outfits. Now, the staff will look pretty spiffy while work continues on the renovated guestrooms as well as the hotel’s new restaurant, and bar.
As you can see in the before and after photos, The staff at the W French Quarter will now wear European-style suits with a flattering slimmer shape. The guys will have skinny ties with complementing tie clips, and the ladies will wear pencil skirts with chic jackets. They can accessorize their uniforms with fashionable jewelry.
Hotel Monteleone's Carousel Bar in one of it early incarnations, circa 1970
We’ve never denied our love for revolving restaurants, even in the face of risky business. But our love for revolving restos really extends to all things revolutionary at hotels, including bars (is there a better way to see all the liquor?). And our latest fixation took us to New Orleans where the Hotel Monteleone’s historic Carousel Bar and Lounge is now fresh as ever.
Earlier this year, the 63-year old Carousel Bar completed a huge renovation that basically blew out the dark and drab, and replaced it with fresh colors and updates, including a new pewter bar under a more brightly lit carousel top. It still rotates at a snails pace, but what are you gonna do? When drinking is involved, that seems just about the right speed.
There's another jazzy reason to stay in New Orleans' famed French Quarter--the stylin' new rooms W Hotel.
The hotel just announced that rooms on the first floor of the hotel have been completed. The rest of the hotel will continue the $9 million renovations until the end of July.
Rooms have been designed around two important themes in the Crescent City--jazz and "the mystery of the tarot." So what you can expect are a "palate of clean lines and modern blacks and whites mixed with vibrant gold tones and rich primary colors." Also, pillows shaped like bowties!
The hotel is also redoing their hallways, putting new check-in desks in the Living Room/lobby and adding a new W Sweat fitness center. The hotel's modern Creole saloon, SoBou, got some makeover and reconstruction love too and will serve Creole dishes with classic cocktails alongside self-serve wine dispensing machines and a beer garden with beer booths
Hotel Amenities / Bathroom Tuesdays / Hotel Bathrooms / Hotel Toiletries / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / New Orleans Hotels / → All Tags
We already showed you one of our favorite things from the Windsor Court New Orleans last week. But for those of you (like us) who don't have several grand to spend on a bottle of wine, there are a few more treats in store.
Downstairs, at the hotel's brand new cocktail bar (aptly named...Cocktail Bar), expert mixologist Christine Jeanine Nielsen whips up some pretty nifty tipples. According to her, the most popular is the Firm Handshake (above left, $10), which includes single barrel Bourbon, ginger root tea, maple syrup and bitters. But, crazy beet-loving folks that we are, none got us as excited as a pisco, agave and lemon concoction that's made with fresh beet juice (above right, $9). Sure beets the price of a cocktail in New York!
For the Sake of Hotel Art / Hotel Art / Renaissance Hotels / New Orleans Hotels / Hotel Lobbies / → All Tags
Lots of hotel lobbies are trying to be hipper, cooler, and more action-packed these days. And while the Renaissance New Orleans Arts Hotel is not necessarily any of those things, we were repeatedly lured out of our room to enjoy the hotel's indoor sculpture garden, an eclectic collection of local art nestled among plenty of plants and trees on the mezzanine level.
Housed under a giant glass ceiling, the entire atrium gets plenty of natural light, and all the rooms look down onto the garden. The open design means some guests can look out at the sculptures from their rooms, but why would you want to limit yourself like that?
With all the light pouring down from above, and all the leafage framing the art, strolling around the "garden" actually feels like being outside.
Just off of Canal Street in New Orleans, The Windsor Court is an opulent 23-story property that touts itself as "the only four star/four diamond hotel in New Orleans." And fresh out of a recent $22 million renovation of the rooms, suites, Club Lounge, lobby and pool area, things have gotten even more shiny and plush.
But it's the dining scene here that's really won the hotel recognition over the years. Plenty of in-the-know wine drinkers show up here to sample quality wines sourced from around the world—though first, they have to sort through the hotel's slightly intimidating menu. Or, if you're us, you'll get to physically walk through the wine cellar, having various bottles pointed out to you by the hotel's F&B director.
See some of our favorite finds below!
Forget using an iPad 2 to connect to a hotel's services. At the Hotel Monteleone, all you need to get keyed in is your smartphone. The hotel has started a new Mobile Passport program that will give you access to your reservation—including room type, confirmation number, arrival/departure dates and room number—as well as e-concierge services from your iPhone or Android.
The way it works is that upon booking a reservation at the Hotel Monteleone, leave your email address. Then you'll receive a confirmation email and a personalized link to the Mobile Passport so you can start planning your stay right away.
National Doughnut Day is coming June 3, and instead of celebrating with a boring jelly-filled or chocolate glazed, our mouth is watering for a good old N'Awlins beignet. The New Orleans Marriott is giving out free beignets every Friday in June to celebrate our new favorite holiday.
Beignets are deep-fried dough pieces covered in powdered sugar, similar to New York's zeppole, but square instead of round. The doughy, greasy goodness is the official Louisiana state doughnut.
Beards may be big in Brooklyn, but during November, the 'mo is the way to go. The annual celebration of the mustache known as Movember has become so big that Malin Akerman is starring in one of their promos, and now hotels are getting down with the mo, too.
If you've got a mustache to flaunt, one of the best places to be this month is the New Orleans Marriott, where that furry top lip can snag you a free drink.
Just in time for Halloween, here's a rather "scary" hotel design snafu--an exposed ironing board at the W Hotel French Quarter in New Orleans, sent into us by a reader. The photo was taken this past Sunday. The guest writes:
After paying more than $300/night for this W Hotel, we really expected a design experience way superior to what we actually got. The ironing board was just the perfect example of the design sensibility displayed by this property. I still cannot believe that this actually is a W Hotel. Never again.